Mulberry House, 8 Couching Street, Watlington, Oxfordshire OX49 5QQ
2003 – this house had become virtually a hippy squat while the owner was overseas, but Jane could see through the grime and knew that this was an interesting property. When she viewed it with my daughter-in-law she commented on the smell of incense, my worldlier daughter-in-law explained it wasn’t incense!
The house was originally a small 17th century cottage, with a mid-Victorian front and a 1960s rear extension. Jane had her shops within walking distance at last!
We took offices in Marlow just a short and extremely attractive drive away – over Christmas Common with its population of red kites.
While painting the house windows high up on some scaffolding, I was lying on the boards for rather too long and several of the kites began to show a lot of interest!
The 17th century part of the house was very evocative. You could almost imagine a cavalier eating in the kitchen, nothing spooky, before setting off up the road to the Battle of Chalgrove.
Our small team at XPO enjoyed a really relaxed and yet very productive period, but we decided to sell our main exhibitions (MacExpo UK and Germany) – and the timing could not have worked out any better!
I briefly got lured in to joining the company that had bought the shows – but once again I learned, in just over seven months, that I don’t particularly enjoy being an employee.
We sold the house and bought a small investment property in Princes Risborough and rented in Ilmer Green as we sought a proper Spanish home in Colomer, Javea – and to all intents and purposes we retired to spend much of our time in Spain!